Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Remember the much ballyhooed NIE report which was published two months ago and essentially cleared Iran of pursuing a nuclear bomb?

Well, "Michael McConnell, the man responsible for the US National Intelligence Estimate... backtracked last week.

In testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 5, the admiral vouchsafed that, in hindsight, "I think I would change the way that we described [the Iranian] nuclear program."

Here's the very first sentence of that immensely ballyhooed NIE, which was greeted rapturously by Iran and with horror in Israel when it was published in early December: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Teheran halted its nuclear weapons program."

What McConnell is now saying amounts to the very opposite: Yes, runs the amended narrative, we think the Iranians may have halted what we narrowly, foolishly and misleadingly defined as their nuclear weapons program four years ago, we're not sure if they've restarted it, but the fact is that we led you all astray with our definition of that program in the first place.

Read the rest, here. You won't find it easily in the mainstream media outlets. For some reason.

Isn't it too bad, that we can't keep pretending that Iran is not up to no good? That is, if we believe McConnell now in the same fervour that some of us (not me) believed him the first time. Something tells me that not everyone will summon up the mental resources to un-believe what they so readily and unquestioningly accepted when what he said was so very much what they wanted to hear...


At 7:31 AM EST, Blogger Roland Dodds said...

This isn’t surprising in the least. In my opinion, I don’t know why Iran wouldn’t want to pursue their nuclear program. It will obviously give them the upper hand in bullying their neighbors and bargaining with the West, and they recognize that the chances of any military power intervening against them seem rather slim at the moment. If the US takes a softer stance in the next few years, with more “cooperation” with the EU and the UN, they will definitely meet little resistance in acquiring the technology and will benefit them in the long run.

At 9:25 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago (Feb 16) the NY Sun reported:

The director of national intelligence is backing away from his agency's assessment late last year that Iran had halted its nuclear program, saying he wishes he had written the unclassified version of the document in a different manner.

At a hearing yesterday of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the intelligence director, Michael McConnell, said, "If I had 'til now to think about it, I probably would change a few things." He later added, "I would change the way we describe the Iranian nuclear program. I would have included that there are the component parts, that the portion of it, maybe the least significant, had halted."

At 9:26 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Feb 6, not 16.

At 9:56 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

One of the commenters to the piece you linked to said:

"This is like those backhanded press retractions of misleading stories and headlines -- in small print below the fold on inside pages. The damage this political hack has done is immense, and I don't believe for an instant he "regrets" it."

Which was my point about this news not easily found in the mainstream media.

A great carnival surrounded the original NIE report, while this retraction, or "modification" has practically sunk without so much as causing a ripple in public awareness.

Israel was jeered at for insisting that the NIE misrepresented the situation. I don't see any rush to correct those impressions or those derisive judgments.

At 10:12 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A great carnival surrounded the original NIE report, while this retraction, or "modification" has practically sunk without so much as causing a ripple in public awareness."

I definitely noticed this. I have not seen any paper covering the modification besides the NY Sun so thanks for providing the link to the JPost article. If you search the Sun's archives there are a few more articles on there as well.


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